This Is Love

Essay by minhanHigh School, 12th gradeA+, September 2009

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The purpose of this essay is to analyse how techniques used in “Leaving Prince Charming Behind” and“This is Love” change my opinion of love. The two poems by Karlo Mila, “Leaving Prince Charming Behind” and “This Is Love” look at love at two different points of views- fairytale and gardening, respectively. Although both poems talk about love, the poem “Leaving Prince Charming behind” compares love to a fairytale whilst the poem “This is Love” relates love to gardening, describing love to be more realistic and practical.

In the poem “Leaving Prince Charming Behind”, the use of extended metaphors changed my opinion about love. By constantly referring to well-known fairytale princesses (Snow White, Rapunzel, St George and the Dragon, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella) throughout the poem, Karlo Mila introduce us to the common misconception- “Love is like a fairytale.” Sadly, Love is not like a fairytale, unlike fairytales, love does not always end with a happy ending.

Unlike fairytales, love is not always sweet and wonderful. Unlike fairytales, there isn’t always a Prince Charming. Karlo Mila wants to emphasize these ideas by showing us the paradoxical side of each fairytale event. For example, most people believe that Rapunzel (after being rescued by Prince Charming) lived happily ever after. However, this was not the case. Rapunzel did not find love to be sweet or wonderful, nor did she find contentment in the relationship, instead she feels that love is actually the “Architect of my isolation”. The use of extended metaphors helped me understand that love is not like a fairytale- in some cases, it may even be the complete opposite.

Another technique used in “Leaving Prince Charming Behind” was the unusual combination of different font types. For example, the bolded phrases, “I believed you” and “I don’t think you” reflects on her thoughts and feelings. The underlined phrases, “the poison apple” and “not believing in glass slipper redemption” were examples of allusions to other texts. The use of italics, “were so busy believing” and “on your gallant white horse” shows the author’s sarcasm or mockery. I believe that the unusual combinations of font types reflects on her confused state of mind as she is deciding on whether to continue or leave the relationship. The unusual combination of different font types can also be seen as hiccups or obstacles, preventing the poem from flowing smoothly. In the same way, Karlo Mila wants us to know that love is not always smooth; instead, many obstacles and hardships must be endured in order for love to survive. This technique helped me understand that fairytale love does not exist and that everything in the fairytale world is just an act.

In the poem “This is Love”, the use of imagery changed my opinion about love. By constantly creating a mental image in our minds, Karlo Mila emphasizes that “love is not a bunch of red roses.” Normally, people have the common misconception that “Roses symbolises love”. Hence, on Valentine’s Day, everyone starts buying a boutique of roses for their loved ones. However, Karlo Mila believes that true love cannot be shown by just a boutique of roses; instead, she believes that “love is / the pruning / the watering / the pruning / the tending.” Karlo Mila believes that even if the roses are “long stemmed / bikini lined / full lipped / red perfect”, these superficial attractiveness will only last a moment. However, by pruning or watering, it shows that the person values this relationship; hence, he will continue to contribute in order to preserve this relationship. The use of imagery helped me understand that “love is not a bunch of red roses”- love is actually the countless contribution from both parties in order to maintain one’s relationship.

In the poem” This is Love”, the use of extended metaphors also changed my opinion about love. By comparing love to gardening, Karlo Mila introduces the idea that “Love is not fun and games.” For example, nowadays, many teenagers believe that it is “cool” to get into a relationship, without actually knowing the sacrifices that have to be made in order for the relationship to be conserved. The words “Pruning” and “Tending” symbolises the time and effort both parties need to contribute in order for a relationship to survive. The phrase “Cutting fingertips softly” symbolises the countless arguments and fights that both parties will experience during their relationship, causing pain and sorrow. The word “Winter” symbolises the hardships and the difficulties that will test their love. By the use of extended metaphors, Karlo Mila wants to tell us that in a relationship, it is not fun and games – instead, countless sacrifices, pain and sorrow have to be endured for a relationship to last.

The techniques used by Karlo Mila have strengthened my opinion about love. Through the use of imagery, Karlo Mila emphasizes that “love is not a bunch of red roses” but actually the countless contributions from both parties. Through the use of extended metaphors, Karlo Mila explains that Love is also not a fairytale as it does not necessarily end with a happy ending. Lastly, Karlo Mila warns us that Love is not fun and games, instead with love brings sorrow, pain and sacrifices.

Bibliography- "This is Love" by Karlo Mila- "Leaving Prince Charming Behind" by Karlo Mila